What’s the first thing that pops into your head when Subaru is mentioned? No, other than head gaskets and dogs at auto shows. That’s right, it’s rallying. For decades, Subaru rally cars have helped build legends on loose surfaces, from the inimitable Colin McRae to the godfather of social media car culture, Ken Block. Although the Japanese automaker no longer competes in WRC, its American arm is still going at it in the American Rally Association’s Open-4WD class. Oh, and with a new generation of WRX on sale, you already knew what needed to happen. Welcome to the 2024 Subaru WRX rally car, built by Vermont SportsCar and set to take on all comers. Can I get a hell yeah?
You won’t find a stock 2.4-liter turbocharged FA24F four-cylinder boxer engine under the hood, but instead a two-liter turbocharged boxer four pumping out 320 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque on 22 psi of boost with a restrictor plate. Harnessing all that turbocharged grunt is a SADEV six-speed sequential gearbox spitting power to all four wheels in Subaru tradition. You just love to see it, don’t you?
Jumps and rocks can put serious stress on a car’s structure, so the team at Vermont SportsCar seam-welded absolutely everything on the unibody, then tube-framed the front end and fabricated a full steel roll cage. From there, new suspension links and hubs were added to deal with the stress of absolutely yeeting it through the woods, and new springs and dampers were fitted to soak up impacts. Seriously, just look at the droop on this suspension.
However, beyond all the awesome technical changes, the first thing most people will notice is the substantially reworked coachwork. The contentious black plastic cladding of the standard WRX has been thoroughly banished in favor of a complex aerodynamically-optimized widebody. The front fenders, quarter panels, and even the rear doors have been scooped all the way out for clearance, with various aero-friendly flics, contours, and profiling added along the way. It’s a radical change from stock but one that totally works, especially with the new matte livery. After all, most show cars aren’t race cars, but every race car is a show car.
The new Subaru WRX rally car will make its debut at this year’s Ojibwe Forests Rally on Aug. 24 with driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams in the cockpit, and that’s only the beginning of the excitement. For the 2024 ARA season, all-American action hero Travis Pastrana will be fielding a second, identical car. A new take on a legendary car with a household name behind one wheel of a two-car team? Now that’s something worth getting stoked on. I can’t wait to see this thing tear up the dirt, can you?
(Photo credits: Subaru)
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